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After John Wright's retirement from the New Zealand team set-up, the last remaining connection with the golden-age of New Zealand cricket - the 1980s - has been severed. Andrew Alderson, Dylan Cleaver and David Leggat in the New Zealand Herald look back at the rise and fall of the golden generation.
Rugby was a sport trying desperately to stay in the dark ages, resisting change at every turn; cricket was a sport forced into modernity by Packer's money and broadcasting savvy. In one of those serendipitous sporting intersections, New Zealand finally had a team that was ready to take advantage of the sport's boom.
Alderson, Cleaver and Leggat, in the same paper, say the future is a bit brighter when you look at New Zealand's school cricket system; growing numbers in school programmes show youth-aimed initiatives paying off.
NZC is running five national schools competitions: the primary school tournaments for boys and girls, followed by the junior secondary schoolboys for years nine and 10, then the Gillette Cup (boys) and NZ Community Trust (girls) senior secondary schools events. In Auckland the numbers for the primary school tournaments jumped from 44 to 69 entries this year. Gillette Cup numbers have increased from 192 to 209 nationwide this year. So a pathway is there to follow.
The Pacific Islands community remains untapped by New Zealand Cricket, says an article in the same paper.
Murphy Su'a is considered the first player of Pacific Island descent to play for New Zealand, appearing in 13 tests and 12 ODIs from 1992-95. He remains a member of the Auckland Cricket board and Samoan coach. Su'a says NZC could do more to promote the game among Polynesian communities. "It's one of the reasons I got involved on the Auckland board ... With Polynesian kids, it's not enough to get them involved, we've got to get into the homes and convince parents. Could NZC be doing more? Absolutely. It often comes back to funding and you find yourself hitting your head against a brick wall."
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